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Factfile Mink matters

l The American Mink - Mustela Vison - is found naturally in Alaska, Canada and most of the United States.

l Mink are usually solitary animals.

l The animals are proficient hunters.

l They like wooded areas as well as fields near streams and lakes.

l Their varied diet consists largely of birds, small mammals, fish and crabs.

l Mating occurs during winter; males and females may have more than one partner.

l Females give birth to three or four young, or kits, during the early spring.

l They are also raised in fur farms. Some of these have established themselves in the wild after escaping from the farms.

l Tens of thousands of mink were intentionally introduced by the Soviet Union over several decades to provide a new game animal for trappers.

l Animal rights activists have also released several thousands of the animals in attacks on fur farms.

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